As well as its endless sunshine (a very impressive 35o days a year), its UNESCO City of Gastronomy status, and the breathtaking Sonoran Desert, Tucson is also a very hip city with microbreweries, thrift stores, and an increasing collection of trendy places to stay. To help you choose, from intimate boutiques to sleek and modern high rises, here is my pick for the cool and unique hotels in Tucson, Arizona…
In Tucson’s lively West University neighborhood, I found my new favorite spot – Graduate Tucson. Surrounded by craft coffee shops and taco joints, this hotel is a colorful haven with a welcoming vibe. The rooftop pool offered breathtaking views of the city and mountains.
Staying there, I loved the fresh and homely feel, thanks to the playful décor inspired by the Sonoran Desert landscape. The ground-floor coffee shop and the excellent 14th-floor restaurant with fire pits and a deck bar added to the charm.
Exploring the well-stocked fitness center was a highlight, and for a change of pace, Graduate Tucson offers cycle hire to explore the nearby university campus. This hands-on experience left me with cherished memories of a vibrant and enjoyable stay.
Rooms with bright decor
Instagrammable and hip hotel
Close to the Fourth Avenue
Lively sunset desert view
The Tuxon Hotel, Tucson, a Member of Design Hotels
Located about a mile from Downtown Tucson, just across the Interstate 10 freeway in the historic district of Menlo Park, one of my favorite places is The Tuxon Hotel. While visiting, I experienced a modern, low-level, courtyard-style building surrounding a central pool, offering a motel-style feel with rooms opening directly to the outside.
The spaces are wonderfully furnished, drawing inspiration from the region’s American, Mexican, and Native American roots, reflected in vibrant color palettes, diverse materials, and textured finishes. I love the rustic grey wood fixtures, saddled leather, and the presence of potted local succulents in the attractive rooms and suites. The artwork celebrating the hotel’s unique connection to the desert adds a special touch, and if you’re up for exploration, the desert is just a few hundred yards behind the hotel.
While staying at The Tuxon, the focal point for me was the inviting central pool. I enjoyed relaxing by the water, taking advantage of a few cabanas, and savoring quality drinks from the excellent bar. The menu also offered a tasty range of casual food.
Tucson’s local culture-themed design
Motor courtyard lodges and hubs
Desert is only yards away
Some rooms can be small
There is no dresser in rooms
Parking lot is closed at night
Nestled at the crossroads of Interstates 10 and 19, I found one of my favorite places—a hip, retro 1960s motel boasting a mural-clad exterior. Just 3 miles from the Tucson Museum of Art and conveniently located 5 miles from Sentinel Peak Park, it sits on the fringes of an industrial zone, but the real charm lies in its proximity to Santa Cruz River Park.
While visiting, I fell in love with the Hotel McCoy’s lively, retro vibe that felt more like a welcoming hostel than a typical motel. What set this place apart were the thoughtful extras that transformed it into more than just a place to rest. I experienced the delight of a charming small pool, an onsite art gallery, and the occasional offering of live music or theatre.
The coffee shop, local bar, fitness center, and even a games room added a delightful touch to my stay. They’ve gone the extra mile to ensure it’s not just a stopover for sleep but a destination in itself.
Innovative entrance to lobby
Trendy art murals on walls
Artistic and eccentric intriguing decor
Leading-edge food truck
Slightly expensive food-items
The hotel can be noisy at night
Windows needs blinds or drapes
Westward Look Wyndham Grand Resort & Spa
One of my favorite places is Westward Look Wyndham Grand Resort & Spa, nestled in the foothills of the Santa Catalina Mountains just north of Tucson. The resort, a charming collection of yellow-ochre casitas, some dating back to 1912, offered me splendid views of both the mountains and the city. The simple hacienda styling, adorned with occasional Native American designs, created a wonderfully relaxing ambiance.
While visiting, I had the pleasure of experiencing the clever architecture and layout that made the over 240 rooms and suites feel surprisingly intimate. The landscaped desert gardens unveiled three inviting pools, tennis courts, and a well-equipped fitness center.
I love this place for the culinary delights it offers. With a few excellent on-site restaurants and a cozy coffee shop, I was spoiled for choice. However, before settling down to dine, I embarked on a memorable hike through the desert foothills, exploring Westward Look’s expansive 80 acres on my own.
Splashes of Native American art
Elementary hacienda decor
Views of Arizona countryside
Trendy and retry hotel from 1960s
No refrigerators in rooms
A little on the pricey side
The bar needs upgrades
The Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa
Nestled in La Paloma, northeast of Tucson, is one of my favorite places—an upmarket haven of country clubs, resorts, and gated communities amidst the breathtaking Santa Catalina Park foothills.
While visiting, the tree-lined streets created a charming ambiance, and the mountains’ view was simply mesmerizing, significantly as the light shifted. The Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa, a vast older gem in a pseudo-hacienda style, won me over with its corporate mahogany and beige decor.
I loved the most spectacular views—the cityscape to the west and the mountains to the east. This enormous hotel captivated me with its lovely gardens, three inviting pools, fitness center, spa, jacuzzi, and golf courses. I experienced the charm of rooms and suites, some boasting balconies for savoring the views.
Snuggled into Santa Catalina Mountains
Views of breath-taking sunsets
Mexican and Spanish cuisine
Great for couples getaway
Minor cleanliness issues in rooms
Completely cash-free hotel
Hacienda del Sol Guest Ranch Resort
Nestled in the foothills of Santa Catalina Park, Hacienda del Sol Guest Ranch Resort is one of my favorite places. Built in the 1930s as a remote desert retreat, it still maintains its unique charm amid the expanding city of Tucson.
While visiting, I fell in love with the quirky hacienda-style architecture, connecting courtyards to expansive grounds. The rooms, suites, and casitas, all furnished in a captivating Mexican ranch style, perfectly complement the historic buildings. The resort’s serene ambiance and stunning views are enhanced by lovely gardens featuring Sonoran Desert landscaping.
During my stay, I tried the fantastic restaurants and enjoyed the outdoor heated pool, hot tubs, and a small spa. The resort’s intimate size adds to its charm, making it stand out among Tucson’s accommodations. Live music and captivating art installations on the grounds added an extra layer to my experience.
Views of Sonoran Desert
Award-winning culinary treats
Top-notch spa sessions
Luxuriant botanical gardens
Omni Tucson National Resort
Tucson National became one of my favorite places for golf. Located on the northern edge of Tucson city, this expansive golfing complex spans over 260 acres, featuring two unique 18-hole championship courses that often host international championships. During my stay, I experienced the charm of Omni Tucson National Resort, the primary hotel catering to golf enthusiasts.
The rooms, although a bit dated, exude a peculiar blend of Benidorm and an uncertain style. Many offer an outdoor patio or balcony, contributing to a Costa Blanca ambiance that extends into the public areas. I love the quaint touch of having outdoor spaces.
Despite the temptation to secure a poolside lounger early in the day, I focused on the exceptional golf courses. The resort’s pool, restaurant, and spa are delightful amenities, but it’s evident that this is a place where you can indulge in golf.
Demonstrates the Arizona landscape
Modernized Casita and Hacienda suites
Signature cocktails and diverse cuisine
Distanced from Central Tucson
No microwaves in rooms
Parking lot is far from hotel
The Blenman Inn, Downtown
The Blenman Inn is one of my favorite places in Downtown Tucson. I love this fabulous bed and breakfast, just a short walk from theaters, galleries, and restaurants. While visiting, I was charmed by the old, quaint, whitewashed building and its pretty garden.
While staying there, I experienced the delightful mix of Victorian furnishings and décor inside. It felt like stepping into a charming, comfortable home, not a museum. With only five suites and two rooms, each was individually designed to reflect the building’s original construction as a private home in 1878.
I tried one of the rooms with a small patio offering a view of the lush gardens. There’s a nice shaded area with a swimming pool and hot tub. It’s just two blocks away from the heart of Downtown Tucson, where you can find world-beating restaurants and entertainment.
Demonstrates a historical Boutique Inn
Nestled into the Downtown
Hassle-free access to fine dining
Beautiful art displayed all around
Larger safe is needed
Rather time-taking check-in
The area can be noisy
JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort
On the extreme western edge of the city, nestled against the Tucson Mountain Park, is one of my favorite places, the sprawling JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort. Perched like an enormous pueblo on the edge of the desert, it offers panoramic views of lush green golf courses, blue swimming pools, and earthen desert terrain in all directions.
While visiting, I loved the rooms and suites, simply bedecked in pale desert tones. Many have balconies, allowing me to enjoy the fabulous views. The calm styling continued through the shared spaces, letting the building to absorb its surroundings rather than dominate.
While staying there, I tried the hiking trails into the park for a more adventurous experience. There were three good-sized swimming pools, a fitness center, and a relaxing spa. I particularly enjoyed the lazy river and waterslide, perfect for kids.
This resort caters to adults with its fine indoor and outdoor restaurants and bars. Of course, the highlight for me was the three golf courses.
Desert-themed golf courses
Swift approach to luxurious pool
Hiking accommodations are available
Best for comfortable staycations
Slightly expensive car parking
Limited dining options available
Aloft Tucson University
Nestled on the edge of the University of Arizona campus, Aloft Tucson University became one of my favorite places. Just a short stroll from the football and basketball stadium, the hotel offers easy access to the Tucson Streetcar for downtown adventures and a quick drive to Kino Sports Complex for soccer and baseball excitement.
I fell in love with the rooms exuding a comfortable European style. Exploring the hotel, I discovered a cool billiard room in the basement, an unexpectedly delightful outdoor heated swimming pool, and a compact yet well-equipped fitness center.
Whenever I needed a quick snack, the lobby’s snack bar proved convenient for essentials. Alternatively, a few steps outside led me to many restaurants, cafés, and bars. While not a resort, Aloft Tucson University served as a faultless crash pad for my Tucson exploration.
Close to Tucson Medical Centre
24-hour functional pantry
Outdoor spacious well-heated pool
Well-organized fitness facilities
Not suited to all ages
There is no complimentary breakfast
La Posada Lodge & Casitas, Ascend Hotel Collection
Nestled in the valley north of Tucson, La Posada Lodge & Casitas became one of my favorite places. With its prime location, this quaint hotel boasts a charming blend of southwestern styles in its 60 rooms and 18 casitas. The vibrant semi-Spanish décor, adorned with wood, earth tones, and colored tiles, creates a lively atmosphere throughout.
During my stay, I noticed that the front of the hotel faces Route 77, which can be a bit noisy. However, the rear, surrounded by gardens and a heated outdoor pool, offers tranquility, complemented by a picturesque canyon golf course and distant mountains.
Exploring the dining options, I love the Tex-Mex bar and grill on-site. If you fancy a leisurely stroll, there are additional alternatives in the neighboring streets. La Posada not only became a budget-friendly choice compared to nearby resorts, but it also provided excellent value for money.
Spectacular mountain sights all around
Immediate access to whirlpool
Pet friendly accommodations
Modest and welcoming interiors
Slightly noisy at times
No shade in the parking
Loud air conditioning
AC Hotel by Marriott, Tucson Downtown
Choosing a stay in Tucson, my top pick is the vast desert resort nestled in the foothills of the mountains. However, Central Tucson designated a UNESCO World City of Gastronomy for its Sonoran-style Mexican cuisine, captivated me. I opted for the AC Hotel by Marriott, strategically positioned in the heart of Downtown Tucson amidst a myriad of culinary delights.
The AC Hotel impressed me with its sleek, modern architecture—no faux-Mexican embellishments here. The rooms embody the essence of urban living, blended with cleanliness, simplicity, and comfort.
Exploring the public areas, I discovered tasteful splashes of original color, providing delightful respites from the arid desert surroundings. The rooftop pool, a gem for catching stunning sunsets, added to the allure. While the onsite restaurant and bar were convenient, the plethora of attractions in the surrounding streets made it likely I wouldn’t make much use of them.
Marvelous locally-derived artwork
Crafted beers from Southern Arizona
Close to diverse art galleries
Great soundproofing is done throughout
Slightly noisy due to nightclubs
Breakfast menu needs some variation
There is no jacuzzi available
Arizona Inn, Midtown
The Arizona Inn, a family-owned gem in Tucson’s Blenman-Elm Historic District since 1930, has become one of my favorites. More than a bed and breakfast, it surprises with a pueblo-style facade that belies the extensive two-block haven inside.
With gardens, a pool, and activities like croquet and tennis, it’s a retreat. The 89 casita-style rooms and suites showcase Southwest aesthetics, with muted tones and unique wooden pieces from the on-site cabinet-making shop.
Dining at the main hall and patio bar is a culinary journey with authentic local cuisine. Whether enjoying sundaes in the summer garden or afternoon tea in winter, it’s an experience that surpasses expectations. The Arizona Inn is, hands down, my beloved and surprisingly affordable choice in Tucson.
Tranquil and peaceful Southwest atmosphere
Casita-themed lodging style
Exemplary venues for large gatherings
A historic boutique hotel retreat
Air Con can be temperamental
Swimming pools require some renovation
The bar closes at 9pm
Desert Trails Bed & Breakfast, Tanque Verde
Nestled on the far eastern edge of Tucson, at the entrance to Redington Pass through the Saguaro National Park, is Desert Trails Bed & Breakfast – now one of my favorite places. This hidden gem is an exquisite, understated haven boasting just four spacious, relaxing guest rooms and its own inviting pool, enveloped by the expansive beauty of national parks and their unique flora and fauna.
I focused on immersing myself in nature. Right outside the front door, numerous hiking trails beckoned, offering a seamless connection to the surrounding wilderness. For those seeking a more spirited adventure, bicycles, and even horses were available for hire nearby.
Located at the edge of Tucson, reaching this tranquil haven requires a car – the nearest restaurant is a mere 3 miles away. Yet, the remoteness only enhances the escape into serenity and the exploration of Arizona’s rare beauty.
Near Houston’s Horseback Riding
Fine rustic woodwork with vaults
Perfect for hiking enthusiasts
Slightly inconvenient location for some
Rooms need more firewood
El Conquistador Tucson, A Hilton Resort
Nestled at the base of Mount Kimball, El Conquistador Tucson quickly became one of my favorite places. This desert oasis spans 500 acres, boasting three breathtaking golf courses, meticulously maintained lawns, and an expansive adults-only spa. Tennis courts, outdoor pools, a thrilling waterslide, and an array of dining and bars added to the allure.
The architecture, featuring low-level blocks and adorned in a neutral Southwestern style, captured my heart. Dark wood accents and Spanish archways sprinkled throughout added a touch of charm.
My guest room embraced the simple yet elegant design, overlooking a spacious central courtyard with lush lawns and inviting pools. Everywhere I looked, the panoramic views of the majestic mountain scenery left me in awe.
While the resort showed signs of wear, understandable given the challenges of COVID-19, the compensation lay in the breathtaking surroundings. The allure of El Conquistador Tucson, with its serene ambiance and stunning landscapes, made my stay truly memorable.
Sceneries of Sonoran Desert
Family Rooms Available
Dazzling golf and tennis courses
Fish shaped pool for children
Can get booked up
May be crowded at times
All Hotels in Tucson Compared
The following table compares the Top 15 Cool and Unique Hotels in Tucson on account of numerous aspects.
|Hotel Name||Location||Price Range (per night)||Fitness Facilities||Distance to Attractions (km)||Nearby Restaurants|
|Graduate Tucson||East 2nd Street||$185-$427||Yes||1.8||6|
|The Tuxon Hotel, Tucson, a Member of Design Hotels||South Freeway||$152-$171||Yes||1.5||3|
|Hotel McCoy||West Silverlake Road||$107-$149||Yes||2.5||3|
|Westward Look Wyndham Grand Resort & Spa||East Ina Road||$173-$616||Yes||5.5||3|
|The Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa||East Sunrise Drive||$224-$325||Yes||5.7||4|
|Hacienda del Sol Guest Ranch Resort||North Hacienda del Sol Road||$224-$369||Yes||5.5||3|
|Omni Tucson National Resort||West Club Drive||$215-$487||Yes||9.6||2|
|The Blenman Inn, Downtown||South Scott Avenue||$168-$299||Yes||0.1||5|
|JW Marriott Tucson Starr Pass Resort||West Starr Pass Boulevard||$374-$710||Yes||2.5||5|
|Aloft Tucson University||East Speedway Boulevard||$108-$121||Yes||3||6|
|La Posada Lodge & Casitas, Ascend Hotel Collection||North Oracle Road||$!19-$214||Yes||3||4|
|AC Hotel by Marriott, Tucson Downtown||East Broadway Boulevard||$193-$305||Yes||0.2||8|
|Arizona Inn, Midtown||East Elm Street||$216-$367||Yes||2.9||3|
|Desert Trails Bed & Breakfast, Tanque Verde||East Speedway Boulevard||$200-$235||Yes||2.4||0|
|El Conquistador Tucson, A Hilton Resort||North Oracle Road||$237-$953||No||9.4||3|
Was this helpful?
Good job! Please give your positive feedback ⚡
How could we improve this post? Please Help us.✍
Becky Moore – Owner, writer and photographer
My first true adventure began as a six-month voyage around South East Asia as a fresh-faced backpacker and ever since I’ve lived a semi-nomadic existence, clocking up visits to over 40 countries. I’m a lover of US Road Trips, deserted beaches bathed in the warm glow of a sunset, Cuban mojitos, travel destinations far away from the tourist crowds, and all things Scandinavian – from cloudberry liquors to Nordic noirs. When not wandering the world and running Global Grasshopper, you’ll find me walking my ex-Athens street dog in leafy South West London, strolling around the Brighton Lanes on random day trips, hunting for photogenic landscapes or daydreaming about my favourite places; Havana, Copenhagen, Italy, Borneo, Finland, Greece, Berlin, Laos, California and the surreal and beautiful landscapes of a wintry Iceland.
Hotel Reviewing Experience – published hotel review in the 52 Sleeps Book organised by Laterooms.com and Lonely Planet. Asked by over 12 tourist boards and many high-profile travel brands to formally review hotels including Germany Tourist Board, Canada Tourist Board, Eviivo, France.fr, Visitoostende.be, Live Riga and Queensland Tourist Board. Also travelled around the world scouting out and reviewing all the most unique hotels in the world, check out our Instagram page for photos.
I’ve also been quoted in Forbes, National Geographic, The Times, LA Weekly, Yahoo Travel, Huffington Post, Business Insider, Thrillist, British Airways Magazine, Entrepreneur, Daily Express, Wanderlust, Telegraph Travel, Daily Mail and Metro. Winner of Travel Blog of the Year. Find me on Linkedin or Facebook.